|You might favor this bill if:
► You believe that marijuana should be decriminalized at a federal level while incentivizing states which disproportionately arrest low-income individuals and people of color for marijuana-related offenses, to legalize marijuana through a reduction in federal dollars. Those currently imprisoned for marijuana use or possession crimes should be allowed to petition a court for a resentencing.
|You might oppose this bill if:|
► You believe that marijuana should not be removed as a Schedule I drug (Defined as having no current approved medical use in treatment in the U.S.) Marijuana does not offer any medical benefits and should continue to be criminalized.
Watch Senator Booker defend his bill:
The Marijuana Justice Act would deschedule marijuana as a controlled substance, incentivize states through federal funds to change their marijuana laws if marihuana is illegal in that state and such state disproportionately arrests or incarcerates low-income individuals or people of color for marijuana-related offenses, would automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes while allowing individuals currently imprisoned for marijuana use or possession crimes to petition a court for a resentencing, and creates a “community reinvestment fund” to re-invest in communities most impacted by the “failed War on Drugs.”
The legislation removes marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols from the Schedule I category and decriminalizes it at a federal level. Schedule I drugs are defined as substances that have high risk or potential to be abused, have no current accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S., and have a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Supporters of legalization argue that marijuana does not contain the side effects, the number of yearly deaths, or the dangers that other drugs in the same category does have. The bill also removes prohibition on imports, exports, and transportation of marijuana across the country.
States that have enforced laws against marijuana, in a way that disproportionately impacts low-income people and people of color, are incentivized by the bill to legalize marijuana by enforcing a maximum 10-percent reduction of their fiscal year’s Federal funds. Those states also become ineligible to receive any Federal funds for the construction or staffing of prisons or jails.
The bill is retroactive and would automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes and would apply to those already serving time behind bars for marijuana-related offenses, providing for a judge’s review of marijuana sentences.
A “community reinvestment fund” would be established to create grant programs that reinvest in communities most affected by the war on drugs. This fund would provide grants to programs relating to:
- job training;
- reentry services;
- expenses related to the expungement of convictions;
- public libraries;
- community centers;
- programs and opportunities dedicated to youth;
- the special purpose fund discussed below; and
- health education programs.
Sponsored by: Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ].
Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 6 Dem / 1 Ind
Sponsored by: Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13].
Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 34 Dem.